Product development process
There are six stages to the Volvo Group product development cycle. Each stage has different environmental, quality and safety objectives that are followed up at each project gate and need to be met before proceeding to the next stage.
Developing a completely new vehicle can take up to four years, sometimes longer if a new powertrain is included. Customers are actively involved in the project providing input through surveys, clinics and field tests. For each new vehicle developed the Volvo Group keeps track of the project experience in a white book so that the learnings can serve as a basis for future projects.
During the development of the products the ergonomics for the driver and the accessibility of the parts for the technician are taken into account, as well as the ergonomic aspects for employees working on the assembly line.
Life cycle assessment
In the 1990s the Volvo Group was one of the first companies in the automotive industry to use Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). It maps a product’s environmental impact in order to make informed decisions in the development process.
According to these LCAs approximately 90 percent of the environmental impact of a Volvo truck results from its use. Each new product from the Volvo Group should have less environmental impact than the product it replaces. Thus the focus of the Volvo Group’s efforts is on reducing the environmental impact of its products during their use.